| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Syndicate of Food Importers: Mechanism of subsidized foodstuff reaching its end

The Syndicate of Food Importers said that the mechanism for subsidizing food products have reached its end currently, because it is only available on papers.

The Ministry of Economy and Trade’s decision No. 87 regarding food subsidies is not terminated yet, but in fact, it has been suspended because the Central Bank is not opening the required credits.

The syndicate called on officials in a statement to deal with this sensitive file in an objective and professional way, as importers carried out their duties in securing subsidized foodstuffs, until the Central Bank suspended opening credits for subsidized products.

The Syndicate indicated that distributing the foodstuff at subsidized prices without actually receiving the subsidy amounts from the Central Bank is a risk that will leave negative results. Due to the blurry reality, importers who obtained the approval of the Ministry of Economy and Trade to import subsidized food have two options, either taking risk and submitting the application to the Central Bank, or withdrawing the file from the Central bank and selling the goods at the market price, and this is what is happening in most cases.

The syndicate said that the real danger is in the files that were approved by the Ministry of Economy in the previous months, as goods were imported and sold in the market at subsidized prices, but importers didn’t yet receive the support dues from the Central Bank, totaling about $75 million.”

The Syndicate reiterated its demand to the Central Bank to pay the due to the importers, especially that they paid from their own accounts to import specific foodstuffs in the subsidized food basket.” It wared that payment default will expose importers to huge losses that they can’t bear. It will also threatens food security.

  • Sawt Beirut International